This is a comprehensive strategy guide for Guild of Dungeoneering Ultimate Edition. It covers game mechanics, using unlocks effectively, how to avoid getting stuck on levels, card advantage, why health is king and a lot more.
A lot of this information is either directly or indirectly gathered from the Guild of Dungeoneering wiki (https://guildofdungeoneering.fandom.com/wiki) –  or the forums here at Steam.
Health is king as many monsters have multiple (strong) unblockable attacks and it overall allows you to use your cards to their fullest potential (e.g. tank a few hits while saving that “shield all” for the monster’s ma*sive nuke that’ll come eventually).
Do your best to stay above 2 (later 3 or even 4) HP as in this position your options for which card to play is very limited and one unblockable attack can end the fight. This might affect how you use shields or heals when nearing this threshold.
The more of a disadvantage you have against your opponent (higher level monster, a boss or simply having less health) the more you need to take chances and play in a way that relies on you getting the right cards in the right order from both your own and the monster’s future draws. Some examples might be to waste that strong shield against a weak attack in the hopes of the enemy not getting their nuke ready before the fight is over or you get another big shield.
The same is true the other way around, e.g. play a weaker “draw card” card over a damaging attack when you’re at a big advantage since this will mitigate the risk of bad luck later in the fight.
Don’t underestimate “card advantage”:
- If you can, always block an attack that forces you to discard. Exceptions are for instance if you need the block for a stronger nuke, have a huge hand already or have no valuable cards on hand anyway.
- Having at least one “draw card” ability is immensely helpful.
The more cards you can to pick from the better you can mitigate bad luck and the better you can plan ahead. More cards in hand also mean you’re less affected by “Stupidity” which may affect your choice of loot.
Picking loot that synergizes with your hero’s preferred play style (e.g. blocking with the Bruiser or heavy physical attacks with the Ranger) is generally more powerful than trying to adapt to a certain enemy’s weakness.
Related to that: Always focus on synergy. The more your cards and abilities feed off each other the more powerful your character generally is.
Remember the first rule of deck building: The fewer cards you have in your deck, the quicker you’ll get to your deck’s game changing cards. So (almost) never pick loot that will give you cards that don’t synergize with your hero.
Save your quick attacks until the finishing blow if you don’t have a very good reason to do otherwise. One exception to this could be if you know the monster’s next attack may otherwise discard your quick attack and it’s the most powerful card in your hand… but this also depends on how the fight is going overall (see playing at an advantage/disadvantage further up).
Each level in an attribute (e.g. “Fire” or “Blade”) adds one unique card to your deck up to level 4 in that ability. The higher level ones are much stronger so focus on maxing out a few attributes that synergize well with your hero (e.g. “Fire” for spell casters) rather than getting as many attribute points as possible overall. Also the card a single “+1” in an attribute will add is pretty crappy so take this into account when picking loot, especially late in a dungeon.
Your hero moves 2 tiles per round but will stop if encountering an unexplored tile (fog), a monster or something to pick up.
If you’re knocked down to 0 HP a heal card will still trigger even though it’s technically played after you were killed and thus revive you.
Aim to fight one lvl 1 monster then one lvl 2 and then just lvl 3s as lvl 3 loot is much stronger.
Learn which monsters your hero is strong against (e.g. my Ranger generally sucks against spell casters). If your only options are monsters your hero struggle against, simply don’t place one. This trumps the advice above meaning it’s better to place a level 2 monster you’re strong against than a level 3 monster you might die against even when your hero is level 3 or 4.
If you’ve capped your treasure income for a level (which you do fast in the early game) candles etc. do nothing more than guide your hero’s movement. A room with a favor in it or a lvl 3 monster you’re strong against is much more valuable to place at this point.
Speaking about favors: Collect them! Almost every hero will benefit from burning 1-2 bad cards (done outside of battle) and having some to spare for a timely sabotage, block or card draw will save you more then once. (Almost) never use favor in battle if it’s not to make you survive or land the final attack on the dungeon’s boss.
A lot of thing influence the automatic movement of your hero (loot, strength of enemies, unexplored tiles and the distance to all these things). Some of this can seem hard to predict so when you’ve managed to get your hero to move towards the location you want, don’t place anything that could interfere with that movement if there’s not a huge benefit involved. This is especially important when playing timed bosses.
Enemies that can steal money (Profitable Snowman is the only one I’ve encountered but might be more) should always be avoided/never placed as money is extremely scarce.
Your hero is meant to die at some point so don’t get too attached to her and don’t worry about losing the traits you’ve accumulated. Sooner or later you’ll even get traits that are counterproductive for your hero (e.g. “Fire +1” for a Hero that want cards with physical damage) so a reset can even be helpful at times.
Only unlock the necessary items on each tier to progress and focus on items that support your preferred hero/play style. This way your hero’s best loot will show up more frequently after killing monsters and since you’re not buying everything you’ll get to the higher tiers faster.
… and stick to a certain hero theme. For instance if you went Bruiser at tier 1, Ranger or Barbarian is likely your best choices for tier 2. This way the item sets you already have stay relevant.
… and don’t worry if this is not your style and/or you’ve already unlocked more. The game will just get a tad bit slower as you’ll have to save up more money to get to the next tier and slay a few more monsters to find the loot you want in each dungeon. The loot in each item set is a bit mixed up as well so for instance you’ll still get loot boosting your Holy skill even in the Blacksmith set, just less of it compared to some other sets.
Timed bosses (“will attack after x turns”) will generally (or even always?) be weaker if you attack them before the timer runs out.
Chasing bosses move two tiles per turn but monsters will interrupt their movement. So by placing monsters on the next tile the boss will move to you can limit their movement to one tile per round.
What to do when you’re stuck at a level?
- Try fighting the different enemies so you learn which ones your hero is strong against and which attacks they have.
- Keep track of where you die, if it’s late you might not be aggressive enough (e.g. try fighting level 2 monsters earlier), if you die early you might either be too aggressive or need to try a different blessing, if the boss slays you you might need to grind level 3 monsters more to get better loot, start the fight with more favors or slightly adjust your fighting style (e.g. invest in a couple of big shields if you’re continuously killed by a powerful nuke) and finally if it’s a specific monster simply avoid that monster if possible or try picking loot that is strong against that particular enemy (e.g. more physical attacks if it’s Frail).
- Attempts still generate a tiny bit of money so grinding enough might give you a powerful character earlier.
- Try taking some chances (see my comment further up about playing with a disadvantage)… or vice versa (but that’s less likely).
- Try a different cla*s. Early on I had a few dungeons where my Bruiser had a hard time and somehow [my Ice Cream Monk (unlocked through progression) just seemed to work better on those[/spoiler].
- Try a different approach in general. Play the dungeon slower if you normally rush and vice versa, if you’re supposed to visit multiple locations do change the order in which you visit them and so forth.
- Try finding a way to get to level 4 as early as possible in the dungeon
… and don’t forget: When you struggle is when you learn. Enjoy the experience and when you finally win you’ll come out as a better player.
… oh, and sorry for the lack of images.
Here we come to an end for Guild of Dungeoneering Ultimate Edition Full Gameplay & Walkthrough + Basic Strategy hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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